A Chinese national is crying foul over profiling of foreign women by the authorities, following her eight-day detention by the Subang Jaya district police.
MBA student Li Jun Jie, 23, from Beijing has blogged extensively about her experience, which has attracted a flood of angry comments from both mainland Chinese and Malaysians.
While in detention, she was denied a phone call and an attempt to send a text message to her lecturer about her predicament was met with a kick from a female police officer to her knee.
In was only during the second day of her detention did Li manage to pass a message to her school - International University College of Technology
The school responded on the third day by furnishing the documents proving her status as a student to the police. However, she was only released on Dec 8.
In her blog, Li spoke of how she befriended other inmates, many of whom were foreigners, and described conditions of the lock-up.
According to Li, food was a small packet of rice wrapped in newspapers, salted fish accompanied by a drink she dubs as the "red liquid that cannot be named".
Li described as deplorable the state of hygiene inside the lock-up where no eating utensils were distributed and detainees had to sleep on damp floors.
She added that fellow detainees were also denied requests of sanitary pads.
Police profiling slammed
Malaysiakini caught up with Li at a café in Taman Tun Dr Ismail yesterday where she granted an interview, condemning the police of profiling, discrimination and bad treatment.
"Why don't they inspect passports of women from other countries? They only target Chinese, Thai and African women (on suspicion of prostitution).
"You think that their countries are not rich, but every country has an upper class and working class. You cannot view these countries with a tainted lens," she said.
Li said that the ordeal had left her frightened and she avoids leaving her hostel over fears that she might be wrongly arrested yet again.
"Whenever I go out now, I don't feel safe, particularly after I was released from detention. Lately, when I see patrol cars near my hostel, even though they are there for routine reasons, I feel scared," she added.
Worried over CCTV cameras
On her experience in the lock-up, Li said that among the many concerns were the presence of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in certain areas, such as the lock-up cell toilet.
She was also upset over the presence of cameras in another room where body search was performed.
"We weren't naked but we had lift up our shirts. We were not allowed to wear underclothes... At the time, I wondered if it was a woman officer in the surveillance room. Maybe anyone could be watching the video feed," she said.
Li said she was familiar with the 2005 'nude squat' furore and was worried that compromising visuals of her would end up on the Internet.
She said she had filed complaints about the incident to the Chinese embassy and her school.
On her future plans, Li said she will continue her studies here because it was nearing completion but she had scrapped plans to pursue her doctorate in Malaysia because of this incident.
Top cop: She was happy
Meanwhile, Subang Jaya district police chief ACP Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar said the police released Li after it was verified that she was a legitimate student.
Contacted today, Zainal Rashid said he would personally look into allegations from Li that fellow detainees had to bribe a police officer RM300 in order to see visitors.
Zainal said she met Li yesterday and personally explained the police procedures and regulations to her.
"After she heard my explanations, she was very happy. If you don't believe me you can ask her," he said.
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They will answer to SURAH 99 verses 7 & 8 for "She added that fellow detainees were also denied requests of sanitary pads."